2016-03-15   facebook twitter rss

Help to Repair Historic Walking Route

Television personalities have added their voices to a campaign being launched by conservation organisations in a bid to prevent one of the country’s best-loved walking routes, Wainwright’s Coast to Coast, from becoming unsafe for the thousands of people who follow its path every year.

When the renowned walker and author Alfred Wainwright devised the route there were far fewer pairs of boots completing the cross-country journey but now, 43 years later, it has become a victim of its own success with some stretches showing severe signs of wear and tear.

Nine Standards Rigg

Nine Standards Rigg

One of the worst areas of the trail is at Nine Standards Rigg, situated in Cumbria above Kirkby Stephen. The ground has become so bad that local mountain rescue teams have had to be called out to free walkers who have got stuck up to their waist in boggy peat.

A new project initiated by the North Pennines AONB Partnership, in collaboration with local charity The Friends of the North Pennines and the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, aims to raise the money to restore the path through a Crowdfunding campaign.

Presenter and walking enthusiast Julia Bradbury, and shepherdess and star of ITV’s The Dales Amanda Owen, are both supporting the campaign that, if successful, will repair the part of the trail that stretches from St. Bees in Cumbria to Robin Hood’s Bay in North Yorkshire.

Julia Bradbury, who walked the route as part of her popular BBC One series, said:
“I am delighted that the North Pennines AONB Partnership is planning to start a Crowdfunding campaign to raise money for the renovation and ongoing maintenance of the trail itself. This type of fundraising tends to bring together like-minded people and fellow travellers who will support this particularly wonderful walk in any way they can and are lovers of our great British countryside.”

Amanda Owen, who farms at Ravenseat, which sits at the end of the first leg of the walk, and whose life is about to be turned into a film, said:
“It’s important on so many levels that we keep this path in good shape. Walking, getting out into the countryside, is one of the things that’s accessible to many people.”

Alistair Lockett, Field Officer from the AONB Partnership, said:
“By repairing this stretch of Coast to Coast we are doing two jobs at once. The ground is rapidly deteriorating and as the route becomes more popular. With these repairs walkers and the environment will feel the benefit for years to come.”

Peter Samsom, Chair of Trustees from The Friends of The North Pennines said;
“This is such an iconic part of a well-loved long-distance path and we’re delighted to be partners in this project. This opportunity to help conserve a unique beauty spot for future generations is something that I would urge everyone to lend a hand to”.

Michael Briggs, the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s Area Ranger for Swaledale, said:
“Having a new flagstone surface will make the route clearer for walkers whilst providing a solid surface and therefore they can enjoy the location and their approach to half-way across the country.”

Money raised will enable the AONB Partnership to engage contractors to helicopter in stone flags to lay a new path, while staff and volunteers will revegetate the rest of the damaged peat.

North Pennines

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